I found some loquats, bought a big bag of achacha (which we ate Christmas day and later Lobo ground the skins up with water and filtered it to make a very refeshing drink, possibly even tastier than the fruit itself which was a little acidic!). I also bought some Colombian coffee beans, some marshmallows and other sweets from Sweetness the Patisserie and wish I had brought a chill bag with me so I could take home some of the meats and charcuterie that was also on sale, during my wandering a stallholder who had finished for the day handed me some huge cherries to get rid of the last of his stock!
The most I spent at the markets were for two boxes of heirloom or heritage tomatoes. I thought I was overdoing it but on bringing them home and tasting them, it turned out they were a worthy investment.
I wasn't able to identify the different types of tomatoes but they were the sweetest most flavourful tomatoes I've ever eaten, even the green ones Belle! You don't have to wait until they ripen.
I know it's a cliche to complain about the state of supermarket tomatoes and the complaints have come from every generation for a very long time, ever since the industrialisation of our food supply it seems. Heirloom tomatoes hark back to a time when food was not uniformly produced for ease of transport and storage, when variety was available from small farms and local market gardens. The sale of produce from heirloom seedlings are an attempt to preserve diversity in our food supply which is why it is definitely worthwhile paying more for better quality produce.
My craving for heirloom tomatoes began with a scene from Julie and Julia where Julie is frying bread (in butter of course) for a starter with lots of chopped tomatoes. This is strange as there is no mention of a bruschetta type dish in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, well I only checked volume one so maybe it was in volume two? Ahh, the power of visuals, I know I wasn't the only person to be so affected as lots of bloggers have discussed a recipe for that dish!
Anyway, I chopped up the tomatoes, added EVOO, a little salt, some thinly sliced red onion and tore lots of basil leaves into the mix. Let it sit for a little while to let the flavours blend and in the meantime, toasted some bread and slurped a little quality EVOO onto the toast, top with tomatoes, easy as!
The tomatoes were so delish you really didn't need the additions in fact I popped the leftover tomatoes straight into my mouth to taste just how good they were, green, yellow, stripey or mottled all were equally delicious.